Onion farmers hit by army worms get aid

Published March 22, 2018, 11:50 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Philippine News Agency

The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) has provided PHP5 million from its quick response fund (QRF) to help onion farmers affected by the infestation of army worms, locally called “harabas,” a ranking official said on Thursday.

Amor Cabico, LDRRMCBongabon head, said Resolution No. 18-004 passed by the council also recommends to the Sangguniang Panlungsod the declaration of state of calamity to affected villages.

Cabico said the recommendation has been submitted to the city council and was expected to be tackled on Monday.

Violeta Vargas, city agriculture officer, reported that a total of 2,297 farmers tilling a total of 930.26 hectares from the city’s more than 1,100 hectares onion plantation were severely affected by the infestation this season.

Total cost of damages reached PHP261.2 million, the data showed.

Vargas said it was the first time army worms affected onion farmers here.
Aside from this city, army worms also wrought havoc to onions in the towns of Sto. Domingo, Bongabon, Llanera and other places in Nueva Ecija.

Among the onion varieties in the province were yellow gannex, red creole, red shallot and spring onion.

Records showed that red shallot farmers suffered PHP19.7 million in losses for 106.65 hectares; yellow gannex, PHP15.097 million at 94.90 hectares; and red creole, PHP226.48 million for 728.71 has.

In 2016, the pests destroyed crops in Bongabon and other Nueva Ecija areas.